All of Missouri’s candidates for governor oppose a proposal to have voters elect the state’s top agriculture official.
The director of the department of agriculture is appointed by the governor.
Democrat Chris Koster said urban voters, whose turnout is greatest at the polls, don’t know enough about agriculture to select who is overseeing it in Missouri.
“My concern, given those demographics, is what would happen if somebody ran on the puppy mill ticket and became director of agriculture in this state,” said Koster.
Republican Catherine Hanaway said politicizing that position would be a bad idea.
“Putting the ag director on the ballot just invites liberal organizations like HSUS to come in and campaign for a particular person, and then we’ve seen time and time again when uninformed voters in the urban areas have misunderstood things that were on the ballot,” said Hanaway.
Republican Eric Greitens called it a “bad idea.”
“I have never once heard somebody say, ‘You know what we need in Missouri? We need another career politician who can cater to animal rights activists and extremists.'”
Republicans Peter Kinder and John Brunner also said they oppose the concept.
The candidates were asked about the idea, which has been proposed in legislation, during the a forum at the Missouri Farm Bureau’s annual meeting.